Solsbury Hill (song)

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"Solsbury Hill"
Single by Peter Gabriel
from the album Peter Gabriel
B-side"Moribund the Burgermeister"
Released

1977 (UK)

1978 (US)
FormatVinyl record (7")
Recorded1976
GenreProgressive rock, folk rock
Length4:21
LabelAtco Records / Charisma Records
Writer(s)Peter Gabriel
Producer(s)Bob Ezrin
Peter Gabriel singles chronology
"Solsbury Hill"
(1977)
"Modern Love"
(1977)
 
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"Solsbury Hill"
Single by Peter Gabriel
from the album Peter Gabriel
B-side"Moribund the Burgermeister"
Released

1977 (UK)

1978 (US)
FormatVinyl record (7")
Recorded1976
GenreProgressive rock, folk rock
Length4:21
LabelAtco Records / Charisma Records
Writer(s)Peter Gabriel
Producer(s)Bob Ezrin
Peter Gabriel singles chronology
"Solsbury Hill"
(1977)
"Modern Love"
(1977)

"Solsbury Hill" is a song by English musician Peter Gabriel about a spiritual experience atop Solsbury Hill in Somerset, England. Gabriel wrote the song after his departure from the progressive rock band Genesis, of which he had been the lead singer since its inception. The song was his debut single. The single was a Top 20 hit in the UK and reached #68 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1977.[1] The song has often been used in film trailers for romantic comedies.[2]

Meaning Behind the Song[edit]

Gabriel has said of the song's meaning, "It's about being prepared to lose what you have for what you might get... It's about letting go."[3] Former bandmate Tony Banks acknowledges that the song reflects Gabriel's decision to break ties with Genesis, but it can be also applied in a broader sense.


Use in Soundtracks[edit]

It has been used in a number of films, for example in the soundtracks of the 2001 film Vanilla Sky,[4] and the 2004 film In Good Company.[5] Its prevalence has been called "ubiquitous", particularly its inclusion in a satirical re-cut trailer of The Shining.[6] The song has been covered by many artists, including Lou Reed, Dave Matthews, Erasure, Sarah McLachlan, Saga, Kyte and Justin Hines.

The song uses a 7/4 time signature for the vast majority of the song. The last two measures of each chorus are in 4/4.

Track listing[edit]

7" UK single (1977)[edit]

  1. "Solsbury Hill" – (3:24)
  2. "Moribund The Burgermeister" – (4:17)

7" "Old Gold" single (1982)[edit]

  1. "Solsbury Hill" - (3:26)
  2. "Games Without Frontiers" - (3:50)

UK maxi-single (1983, 1988)[edit]

  1. "Solsbury Hill" – (3:24)
  2. "Moribund The Burgermeister" – (4:17)
  3. "Solsbury Hill (Full Length Live Version)" – (4:45)

7" European single (1990 re-issue)[edit]

  1. "Solsbury Hill" – (4:24)
  2. "Shaking The Tree" – (5:06)

12" UK single (1990 re-issue)[edit]

  1. "Solsbury Hill" – (4:22)
  2. "Shaking The Tree" – (5:06)
  3. "Games Without Frontiers (Live)" - (6:06)
"Solsbury Hill (Live)"
Single by Peter Gabriel
from the album Plays Live
B-side"Kiss Of Life (Live)"
Released1983
Formatvinyl record (7")
GenreFolk rock, progressive rock
Length4:41
LabelGeffen Records / Charisma Records

Live Version[edit]

7" US single (1983)[edit]

  1. "Solsbury Hill (Live)" - (3:58)
  2. "I Go Swimming (Live)" - (4:29)

7" Netherlands single (1983)[edit]

  1. "Solsbury Hill (Live)" - (4:41)
  2. "Kiss Of Life (Live)" - (5:01)

7" US single (1983)[edit]

  1. "Solsbury Hill (Live)" - (3:58)
  2. "Shock The Monkey" - (3:58)

Personnel[edit]

Other cover versions[edit]

Though not an official cover version, Dream Theater's song "Solitary Shell" was based on "Solsbury Hill" in style, though the lyrics are completely of their own creation.[10][11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Peter Gabriel Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 3 February 2015
  2. ^ "Peter Gabriel: Story That Bruce Springsteen Was Inspiration for 'Solsbury Hill' Is 'Hogwash. Rolling Stone. Retrieved 3 February 2015
  3. ^ Daryl Easlea (2013). "Without Frontiers: The Life & Music of Peter Gabriel". Music Sales Group
  4. ^ "Vanilla Sky (2001) Soundtrack". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2011-01-14. 
  5. ^ "In Good Company (2004) Soundtrack". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2011-01-14. 
  6. ^ Linda Holmes (2011-03-14). "Recut 'Ferris Bueller' Trailer Accidentally Nails The Real 'Ferris Bueller'". National Public Radio. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  7. ^ "Bryce Jordan Center, University Park, PA". DMBAlmanac.com. Retrieved 2010-04-25. 
  8. ^ "Amazon". amazon.com. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  9. ^ http://www.amazon.com/Glass-Moon-Growing-The-Dark/dp/B00022TSJA
  10. ^ "Harmony Central - Harmony Central". Acapella.harmony-central.com. 2013-06-14. Retrieved 2013-06-18. 
  11. ^ "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence (song) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia". En.wikipedia.org. Retrieved 2013-06-18.